WJC congratulates incoming UNESCO Director-General Azoulay on appointment, expresses hope for pushback against ongoing politicization

NEW YORK – World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer congratulated former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay on her appointment Friday as incoming Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and expressed hope that she would push for much-needed reforms to address the ongoing politicization of UNESCO.

“The World Jewish Congress congratulates Ms. Azoulay on her appointment as UNESCO Director-General and is confident that she will strive for excellence in all of the critical fields encompassed by this position.

“UNESCO, as too many other international bodies, has been hijacked by the political agendas of some of its member states resulting in the adoption of egregious decisions, including the attempts to rewrite history and deny the historic Jewish link to its ancient homeland. This relentless bias and double standard against Israel must come to an end.  

“We are hopeful that Ms. Azoulay will maximize her position to address the issues of concern for Israel and the Jewish world, and push for the reforms so deeply needed to return UNESCO to its core mandate of contributing to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication for the sake of justice, rule of law, and human rights and freedoms. 

 “The World Jewish Congress has maintained an excellent relationship with outgoing UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, and recently signed an agreement to launch together an innovative Holocaust education website geared at providing youth with essential information about the history of the Holocaust, its denial, and its legacy.  

“We are looking forward to continuing this relationship and this work with Ms. Azoulay, and engaging positively on issues of mutual concern.

“In my recent meeting with Ms. Azoulay, I was encouraged by her forthcoming interest and commitment to the issues at hand.

“We do not expect any miracles among UNESCO voting states over night, but we are confident that change is indeed possible. We wish Ms. Azoulay the best of luck in the four years ahead.”

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